An Oklahoma City man this week pleaded guilty to violating federal banking law in an effort to launder money from marijuana sales.
Federal prosecutors said Victor Ngo, 33, used Friendly Management Group to open a bank account to deposit funds from Cannabless, Ngo’s medical marijuana company.
Ngo told bank officials that FMG was a health and wellness company; in fact, it was involved in the marijuana industry.
Many banks are unwilling to do business with cannabis companies due to the federal ban on the drug, and Cannabless was not in compliance with Oklahoma law at the time.
Ngo also kept deposits below $10,000 in order to avoid triggering the bank’s reporting requirements.
He pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a bank and agreed to forfeit more than $620,000. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.
FMG pleaded guilty to structured money laundering and could face a fine of $770,000, which equals the amount it admitted to laundering.